Meeting the parents is even more fraught when there’s a “Prince” before your boyfriend’s name.
Meghan Markle‘s mom, Doria Ragland, made headlines over the weekend when she accompanied her daughter to the Invictus Games closing ceremonies on Sept. 30 — along with Markle’s boyfriend of 15 months, Prince Harry.
In a private box, Markle and Ragland joined Harry, Markle’s pal Jessica Mulroney and Soho House consultant Markus Anderson, who introduced Harry and Markle last year. Before Harry joined them, he spoke on stage, with Markle and Ragland clapping in the audience.
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“We can just have so much fun together, and yet, I’ll still find so much solace in her support,” Markle told Glamour of her mom, calling her one of 10 women who “changed my life.” “That duality coexists the same way it would in a best friend.”
It was a big milestone for Harry and Markle’s relationship: The first public confirmation that he’s met her mom. But when Ragland stepped out in support of Harry’s endeavor, she wasn’t the first potential royal mother-in-law to do so.
Back in 2006, Kate Middleton‘s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, joined their daughter to celebrate a major accomplishment of Kate’s then-boyfriend Prince William, just as Ragland did with Harry. All three Middletons attended William’s graduation from Sandhurst Military Academy. Just like Ragland’s attendance at the Invictus Games, the move caught attention from the press and royal watchers alike. (Also at the event, Carole got her first taste of public scrutiny when she was called out in the press for chewing gum.)
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Though Harry hasn’t been dating Markle for quite as long as William and Kate had been by the time of their public parental debut, it can also be assumed that the closing ceremonies weren’t the site of his first meeting with Ragland. You’d have to imagine Harry would prefer to mark the milestone in a place where they weren’t likely to be snapped by photographers or be under the watchful gaze of an audience of thousands.
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So, what does a parent’s attendance at a major royal event mean? Well, for William and Kate, it didn’t signify an engagement around the corner. There were still four more years and a short-lived breakup that came before they announced their engagement in November 2010.
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